We were beyond honored that the lovely ladies of Sage Wedding Pros chose Doodle Dog to help them give their, already noteworthy, brand and website a facelift. We generally work with 2 types of businesses, the “newbies,” or the “5-10 year stretch-ers,” as we call them. The newbies, of course, are launching a new business and are starting from ground zero, they don’t have a logo, a brand, or a website, they simply have a concept that we help them develop. The “5-10 year stretch-ers” have been doing pretty great already, and just need to take it to the next level! They’ve been profitable, they realize their small business is legit, they are ready to really invest into their business, and give their successful brand the attention that it deserves because they know they are in it for the long haul. In most cases, the strategy and concept have varied slightly from the time when they did their original launch, they have grown as business owners, and their target demographic has also changed slightly (whether it be monetarily, or simply the definition of who their ideal client is). Sage Wedding Pros, is a perfect example of our second type of client. They just celebrated their 6th anniversary, and in those 6 years their vision has grown. What started as a blog, has blossomed into a very well recognized and respected brand in the wedding industry, which has 6 sub brands in its family. From networking groups and conferences, to consulting and informative downloads, the brand and site has a lot to offer. Take a look at the modern, simplistic, fresh new brand identity and website for the business.The new custom designed, responsive WordPress website is a huge step in the right direction to simplify the Sage family of brands, and create a much more user-friendly navigation path for their visitors and followers. In the past, when arriving at www.sageweddingpros.com you would arrive at their blog, see the most recent posts and ads down the side panel, while this has been sufficient over the last few years, it wasn’t enough to take them to the next level. Sage needed a sophisticated, grown-up, version of itself to house all of services and resources it now was known for. Sage wasn’t just a blog anymore, it was a brand that the industry has come to appreciated and respect. The brand is known for its “easy-peasy” approach to business, and we wanted to make sure the website and brands all followed that mentality. We designed and developed a site, which allowed easy access to all 6 of their brands, and of course (the traffic generator) the blog! Take a look below, when arriving on the homepage, you’ll see 6 simple squares, each of which directs the user to what they are looking for, when scrolling down you see a preview of the most recent blog posts, as well as testimonials (an easy way to provide visitors a confidence booster at first glance). This page immediately tells the user what the site has to offer, where you can go, the latest news, and why they are the best. As a user, you can quickly link out to their networking group (Thursday Therapy), their annual conference (Be Sage), their consulting services (The Simple Plan), or one of their resource sections, The People Plan, The Toolbox, or Make Money. Because we feel like you can never make it too easy, we also created a very self-explanatory navigation bar at the top, with the same color coded brand logos under the word with us section. This helps drive home brand recognition, as well as the ease of use.
While the homepage is always the most important page, we put a ton of thought into making the rest of the site easy, smart, and convenient to the busy small business owner who will be surfing around. On each main page we provided, “quick links” which provide the most commonly search for items on the site.
One element of a successful website, which is often overlooked or forgotten, is the photography. Photography is an easy way to emphasize your brand personality, style and tone. It’s also very important in regards to your bounce rate, average site visit duration, and more. If photos aren’t attractive or simply aren’t loading quickly enough, visitors are more likely to leave the site before even getting started. Kelly and Michelle, understood the importance of great photography, and brought in multiple photographers to help them out. Below are a few of my faves, shot by John Livas (John Christopher Photographs – A Dallas Photographer), which help them tell their story with photography. With multiple brands, services and products, these images are an effective way to help show consistency in their brands and build brand recognition.
While we are not technically wedding professionals around here, we certainly live and breath the industry and have designed and developed brands and sites for wedding pros around the world. If you are in this industry and haven’t been following this dynamic duo, start now!
We asked Kelly and Michelle a few questions:
What keywords do you want someone to think of when they “experience” your brand and/or website? Clean, sophisticated, approachable, quality, and overall a great resource for the wedding industry
What is unique about your business? We’re “no-fluff” when it comes to our approach to education. There are a ton of workshops/consultants in the industry now, and we firmly believe we are the best at providing hard-core business education. We provide specific tools and resources to help our clients take their business to the next level, and to find exact solutions to their needs. We’re also super approachable and friendly – we want to laugh with our clients!
Why did you decide to work with Doodle Dog? Doodle Dog understands our target market, and our products/services inside and out – so she was able to take our vision and truly bring it to life. Doodle Dog helped us to take our site to the next level and streamline all of our content.
Why did you decide the time was right to rebrand/launch? Our previous site was 6 years old and we wanted a more sophisticated look to mirror our experience now that we’re so seasoned in the industry. We have more products and services that we want to make easy for our users to find, and plan to continue offering more so we needed a platform that would enable us to do just that.
What’s your favorite part of your new look? I love the home page! It’s so visually appealing and just makes me want to search the site more. It’s so easy to navigate now too!
What sort of feedback have you gotten from visitors to the site? Everyone LOVES it! We seriously have received nothing but amazing comments from our fans. It’s been incredible to hear all of the positive feedback!
What advice would you give to someone considering a rebrand or relaunch? Take your time to think about how you want to convey your products and services (ie – how you want them to be structured on your site)…consider doing a photo shoot to freshen up your headshots, your products/services, etc. It’s time-consuming but SO worth it in the end!
What’s next? We’re planning our next Be Sage Conference in November in Dallas, so are busy lining up our speakers and adding them to our site. Be sure to keep checking back for more speakers to be announced in the next few months!